Review on Aqua Shard
Aqua is the third restaurant to open in London's landmark building The Shard, designed by Italian Pritzker Prize-winning architect Renzo Piano, it is the tallest building in Western Europe, standing at 309.6 metres. Sibling to Hutong, two floors up, and Aqua Kyoto and Aqua Nuevo atop the old Dickins & Jones building on Regent Street, the restaurant group owned by David Yeo also has several other venues spread across Hong Kong and Beijing.
Aqua has its own entrance at the bottom of the building with an express lift to whizz you up to level 32, where you descend the huge impressive staircase down to floor 31. Designed by interior architects Jestico + Whiles using Liberty fabrics to complement the dark oak floor, it spans two wings with one themed around gin and the other tea, linked by a stunning atrium bar with three-storey high panoramic windows. The sensational unobstructed views of London's skyline and the River Thames through the glass windows are breathtaking and the clever use of angled mirrors on the walls, reflect the views all over again.
Leading the kitchen is Executive Chef Dale Osborne, previously heading the team at Terroirs, together with Head Chef Pip Sandrey, who has worked at restaurants such as Hix Soho and Chiltern House. Aqua showcases contemporary British cuisine using innovative techniques, whilst making excellent use of seasonal produce from local suppliers as listed on their menu. So expect cured wild seabass, Summer salsa, wild mint, cucumber mousse and horseradish amongst the starters, followed by a main course of Rhug Estate salt marsh lamb saddle, aubergine, goat's cheese, red pepper, young garlic, fondant potato and lamb jus or roasted halibut, cockles, grilled langoustine, pumpkin and Swiss chard. A dark chocolate tarte scented with orange, cashew powder, apricot and yogurt sorbet or maybe Eton Mess is an enjoyable way to close proceedings.
Make sure you try one of their signature cocktails such as the Devonshire Cream Cup made of Tanqueray, Aperol, crème de fraise, lemon curd, tarragon balsamic vinegar and lemon juice, topped with Earl Gray tea air.
Dale Osborne and Pip Sandrey
Restaurant Opening Times
Breakfast: 7.00 - 10.30am (9.00 - 10.00am Sat, Sun & BH's) (10.30am - 3.30pm Sat & Sun Brunch)
Lunch: 12.00 - 2.45pm Mon-Fri (1.00 - 5.00pm Mon-Sun Afternoon Tea)
Dinner: 6.00 - 11.00pm
Accepted credit cards
Visa, Master Card, American Express